The "choose Africa" initiative launched in Kenya for African SMEs

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The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel macron, took advantage of his stay in Kenya at the one planet Summit to realize his commitment to accompany the revolution of entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa. Let us note that the choose Africa initiative, coordinated by the French Development Agency Group (AFD), will devote 2.5 billion euros to the financing and accompaniment of African start-ups, TPE and SMEs by 2022.   

All the tools of the AFD and its subsidiary dedicated to the private sector Proparco will be mobilized to accompany nearly 10 000 companies at different stages of their development.

Small businesses, key actors of employment and economic growth in badly funded

Start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises play a decisive role in job creation, economic growth and innovation. In Africa, these companies will be led to play a fundamental role in welcoming the 450 million of young people joining the labour market by 2050.

However, the lack of adequate financing remains a major obstacle, which slows down the ambition of entrepreneurs and bridle the potential of their businesses. Today, only 20% of SMEs in Africa have access to the Bank loan and 87% of start-ups do not have access to any financing.

AFD group, partner of start-ups and African SMEs

The choose Africa initiative launched today will devote 2.5 billion euros to financing and supporting African start-ups, TPE and SMEs by 2022. Carried out by the AFD group, this initiative mobilizes all the AFD and Proparco tools to provide unparalleled support to African companies.

In accordance with the commitment made by the President of the Republic in Ouagadougou in November 2017, 1 billion euros will be invested in equity in startups, TPE and SMEs in Africa. 1.5 billion euros will be designed to facilitate access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises through local public or private financial institutions (microfinance institutions, banks, leasing companies, etc.).

In total, nearly 10 000 African small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from choose Africa, including 600 through equity investments. Through this initiative, France, through AFD and Proparco, reaffirms its commitment to African entrepreneurs and to the economic development of the continent.

A diversified response tailored to the needs of African small businesses

Choose Africa is the gateway to all the solutions proposed by AFD and Proparco to African small and medium-sized enterprises:

. Financing to meet the specific needs of entrepreneurs according to the stage of development of their company. AFD Group proposes both equity investments and tools facilitating SME access to credit (through credit lines dedicated to SMEs, granted to African financial institutions, or through guarantees granted to banks for to cover SME risk);

. Technical assistance to support financial institutions in their SME support activities, to train businesses and entrepreneurs in improving their environmental, social or governance practices, and finally develop local accelerators and incubation networks;

. Actions to support the ecosystem to develop an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and SMEs.

All these solutions are available on the www.choose-africa.com platform, an information and guidance portal for the AFD Group's entrepreneurs and partners.

About choose Africa

The French initiative, choose Africa, concretizes France's willingness to support African entrepreneurship. With choose Africa, the AFD Group (French Development Agency and its subsidiary dedicated to the private sector Proparco) brings to the service of start-ups, TPE and African SMEs all its tools to finance them and accompany them at the different stages of their Development.

Moctar FICOU/VivAfrik               

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